Life’s Little Gifts


It is said there are many things in life that we are not meant to understand. The meaning of life itself, love and loss are just a few things that come to mind. We are told to “trust in the process” and come to accept that there are experiences in which we are meant to endure to bring us closer to becoming the person we are destined to be.

Although poetic, this is not how society shapes us. From a young age we are groomed to develop a plan for ourselves. We are taught that if you fail to plan, you fail to succeed and furthermore, exceed. We are taught to always maintain control. I was taught to always maintain control. For a type A person much like myself, creating a plan and sticking to it is not something that that proves to be a difficult feat, but the fear that comes with the derailment of such plan is. As I grow older, I have come to realize that you can check off every box, cross all your t’s and dot all your i’s and still not end up where you’d imagined. Although extremely cliche, what I have ultimately learned throughout the past two years of life, is that it can be exactly what you what it to be as long as you grasp the understanding that ultimately you do not have full control over what happens. Being simultaneously in control, yet completely out of control is a normal part of life that just so happens to be one of the many things that makes it so damn beautiful. There are many times in which we are reminded of such things and we are brought back down to earth.

One of these moments for me was when I stumbled upon a surprise note my late grandfather left my grandmother. It was April, 2016 and my grandfather had just passed away. His death still felt very surreal. Wanting to make my grandfather proud, I was volunteered myself for the emotional task of creating the memorial photo montage. In the rush of things, my grandmother quickly grabbed all her favorite photos of my grandfather from all over her house, still in their dust covered frames. There were all sorts of photos. Black & white photos, small photos, large photos- but one stuck out the most. It was my grandfathers Army photo. I could tell the photograph had not been removed from it’s frame for decades. As I opened the back of the frame and lifted the backing, portions of the image stuck to the glass. I gently continued to remove the rest of the picture from the frame and the moment I turned the photo over, my heart sank. My grandfather always cherished photos as a way to savor life’s precious memories, but I never fully understood that fondness until I discovered this quote on the back of an old photo he sent to my grandmother while he was away in the army.

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“To my wonderful wife Evonne. Although miles have parted us this is one soldier who loves just one you. Generals have their armies, colonels have their divisions and captains their companions, but this is a recruit who has a whole world full of loving companionship in you. With all my love, your very devoted husband Ronnie”.

In the midst of all life’s madness, this moment grounded me and to this day is still my reminder that life is so enchanting. It reminds me that life’s beauty is found in the most hidden of places and that we must not forget to search for that beauty everyday. It will not always be displayed widely for you to immediately see or even understand, but that is what makes all the more valuable. Life has a funny way of reminding us to not take things at face value, and to accept that everything is so much more complex than it appears. Sometimes for good, sometimes for bad, but nonetheless the absolute core of the life’s beauty.

Xo,

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DIY Days: Homemade Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream


Similar to how much of many other things in my life start off, I was bored one day and decided I needed to do something creative. Being that I had way too much heavy whipping cream left over from my pesto alfredo dinner the other night (another #DIYDays recipe soon to come), I defaulted to cooking. Craving something sweet and refreshing as I scoured Google for an “easy and quick ice cream recipe” it took all of a whopping HOUR for me to decide on which flavor ice cream I was going to put my own spin on. Absolutely ridiculous, I know! Ask anybody that knows me and they will explain to you how frustrating it is to make me a part of any substantial decision. Yes…. ice cream flavors are substantial decisions! Luckily, I found a quick homemade, no churn ice cream recipe that took me only 15 minutes to make. Follow the steps listed below for the simplest homemade dessert that is assured to impress anybody whose lips it graces!
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INGREDIENTS: 

  1. 1 14 oz. can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
  2. 1/2 Teaspoon of Mint Extract
  3. 1 Cup of Semi-Bitter Dark Chocolate Chips (Chopped)
  4. 2 Cups of Heavy Whipping Cream
  5. Glass Pan with a Tight Lid
  6. 4 Drops of Green Food Coloring (not pictured)
  7. Electric Hand Mixer (not pictured)
  8. Two Mixing Bowls (not pictured)

STEP 1: Separate out all ingredients.

STEP 2: Empty 2 cups of Heavy Whipping Cream into large mixing bowl and mix on high with Electric Hand Mixer for roughly 5 minutes until soft peaks appear as pictured below.

STEP 3: Mix-in Dark Chocolate Chips, Can of Sweetened Condensed Milk, 1/2 tsp. of Mint Extract and 4 drops of Green Food Coloring into small bowl until all are fully mixed.

STEP 4: Once fully mixed, fold in the green chocolate-chip/mint mixture into the bowl of whipping cream.

STEP 5: Pour the entire mixture into the glass baking dish, smooth the surface, cover and place in freezer overnight.

Once the entire mixture has sat in the freezer overnight, it will be ready to show off to all your friends and family….a.k.a eat all by yourself while binge watching Netflix!

HINT: To easily scoop ice cream out of the container, run your ice-cream scooper under warm water prior to serving.   

Hope you enjoyed this simple and quick homemade ice cream recipe. Share your homemade ice cream creations by using the hashtag #LVBDIYicecream

Follow more DIY recipes and crafts like this by subscribing to the La Vida Broka blog feed!

XoXo,

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Weekday Wardrobe: An Ode to Summer Fashions

On this weeks Weekday Wardrobe, a *new* weekly blog post intended to inspire your weekday fashions, I was inspired by the rustic colors of the end of Summer and beginning of Fall. The crisping air and early sun sets signal the end of the bright summer days. But of course, it’s difficult to let summer fashions go without a final wave goodbye. The following looks are a hybrid between chic summer street wear and early fall fashions.

 

MONDAY: Rough Around The Edges

Rough Around the Edges

 

 

TUESDAY: Sweet Tooth

Sweet Tooth

 

 

WEDNESDAY: Modified Masculine

Modified Masculine

 

 

THURSDAY: Constructed Boho

Constructed Boho

 

 

FRIDAY: Rustic Cobalt

Rustic Cobalt

 

I hope these looks brought some inspiration to your weekday wardrobe selections!

Xo, 

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Boho Fo Sho

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Clutch: Thrift Store Find | Top: Buffalo by David Bitton | Wedges: Reaction by Kenneth Cole from TJ Maxx | Ring & Bracelet: Forever 21 |  Jeans: Target | Necklace: World Market 

After a long week there are two things I crave: good drinks and comfy clothes. Luckily, there is something so incredibly effortless about a bohemian style outfit. Relaxed, comfy and whimsical– it fit my mood for the night. The wonderful thing about boho style is that it is nearly impossible to mess up. Gladiator style sandals?– Check! Flowy top?– Check! Whimsical print?– Check! Congrats, you just successfully put together a boho look! Piece of cake, huh?

The one difficult thing about this outfit is the top. It is a low cut, oversized tank that works better as a coverup (one of which I never really wore). I have been dying to wear this out, but the only thing it pairs well with is jeans and leggings. Nonetheless, it is probably the MOST comfortable top I have ever worn out to dinner.

The leather, hand carved clutch is one of my high school thrift store finds that I recently found shoved in the back of my closet underneath my suitcase sized purses. It originally had short purse handles (not my fav) that I removed to create a cute, earthy styled clutch that thankfully fits all the essentials (phone, wallet, Mophie).

TGIF and enjoy the weekend!!

Xo,

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HTTR: My Day At Redskins Training Camp

 

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During the summer, there is a delicate balance between finding an incredible experience and finding something that doesn’t break the bank. I’m sure you have wasted away multiple days at Six Flags or Kings Dominion thinking, “I’m just going to pay the entrance fee and won’t buy a thing so I can save my money“…….only to walk out $80.00 poorer and a stomach full of soggy chicken nuggets. Its okay, we’ve all been there, don’t feel bad!! As Summer comes to an end the list of affordable, worthwhile “To-Do’s” seems to be an impossible feat. Well, look no further! If you’re a true DMV resident and a part of the HTTR Nation, you are in luck! From July 24- August 11, the official Redskins Training Camp will be held at the Bon Secours Training Center in Richmond, VA…FOR FREE!! That’s right people, you can stare at the wonderfully chiseled athletic goodness of every NFL Redskin Player without paying a dime! Of course, growing up in a die-hard Redskin fan household, my families attendance to this event was almost implied.

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Now, I’m not going to sit here and pretend to be the worlds coolest chick that knows everything about gel nail polish, baked goods and football all at the same time, because to be honest, I know ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ABOUT SPORTS. Not that I’m saying that a girl can’t know everything about gel nail polish, baked goods and football– because I’m sure that mega-super-cool-sport-girly-chick-hybrid exists, I’m just not her.

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Let me break this down for you, in middle school PE class I was single-handedly the reason why my team always lost in every game. I would literally run away from the ball every time it came within a 4 foot radius. But, I am happy to report that my trip to Redskins Training Camp was just as fulfilling for a non-sporty chick– my only complaint would be the 8:30AM start time..

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I was shocked at the end of the two-hour practice how dedicated and loyal the players were to the fans. RGIII, along with many other players, literally walked right up to massive crowds of fans to  to sign and take pictures for a good 30 minutes. Ultimately, the cherry on top of a great day was when one of the players pulled a little boy onto the field with him and suited him up with football pads, helmet and all. Of course, the adorable little boy fell over with the weight of the pads and the crowd went hysterical.

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Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset If you’re looking for a quick day get-away and don’t mind waking up early, I highly suggest you check out the Redskins Training Camp. You can’t beat a newly built facility  with awesome food, beverage and entertainment vendors, NFL players and no entrance fee!

Xo,

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